AG/RES. 1500 (XXVII.0/97)

MUTUAL CONFIDENCE IN THE AMERICAS

(Resolution adopted at the seventh plenary session, held on June 5, 1997)

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,

RECOGNIZING:

That the strengthening of peace and security in the Hemisphere is an essential purpose of the OAS and that economic and social development and cooperation among its member states are fundamental to its achievement;

That, in accordance with the Charter of the OAS and the Charter of the UN, the member states have the right to maintain armed forces for individual and collective self-defense; and

The importance of confidence-building measures for regional and international peace and security;

EMPHASIZING that the application of confidence- and security-building measures helps establish a climate conducive to effective limitation of conventional weapons, which makes it possible to devote maximum resources to the economic and social development of member states, one of the basic purposes of the OAS Charter;

REAFFIRMING the Declaration of Santiago on confidence- and security-building measures, adopted on November 10, 1995, which recommended, in the best possible manner, the application of confidence- and security-building measures;

RECALLING ITS COMMITMENTS IN RESOLUTION AG/RES. 1179 (XXII-O/92) TO:

Accept as a guiding principle of regional disarmament, arms control, and limitation policies, the requirement to enhance security and stability at the lowest possible levels of forces consistent with defense requirements and international commitments;

Express the commitment of the Organization to effectively contribute to the efforts being made at the international level towards the strengthening of peace and security;

Maintain only such military capabilities as are necessary for self-defense and fulfillment of international commitments, consistent with their Constitutions, laws, and the principles and purpose of the OAS and UN Charters; and

Exercise restraint in conventional arms transfers with a view to preventing excessive or destabilizing arms build-ups;

AWARE that the preservation of a balance in the defense capabilities of states at the lowest level of armaments would contribute to peace and stability and should be a prime objective of conventional arms control;

CONVINCED that endeavors by countries to promote regional disarmament, taking into account the specific characteristics of each region and in accordance with the principle of undiminished security at the lowest level of armaments, would enhance the security of states and would thus contribute to international peace and security by reducing the risk of regional conflicts; and

TAKING NOTE:

Of OAS resolutions AG/RES. 1409 (XXVI-O/96) and AG/RES. 1284 (XXIV-O/94), and United Nations resolution 50/70D of December 12, 1995, on transparency in armaments, and that an enhanced level of transparency could contribute to confidence-building and security among states;

That the increase in openness and transparency in the arms field contributes to building mutual confidence, reducing tensions, and strengthening regional and international peace and security, and may contribute to decreasing the acquisition, production, and transfer of arms; and

That there is consensus among the member states on the implementation of confidence-building measures, which include, in particular, transparency and exchange of information on arms,

RESOLVES:

1. That the Permanent Council, through the Committee on Hemispheric Security, consider the desirability of approving a legal framework on the issue of advance notification of major arms acquisitions covered by the United Nations Register of Conventional Arms, as a means to achieve an effective limitation of conventional weapons that will make it possible to devote the largest amount of resources to the economic and social development of the member states, in accordance with Article 2.g of the OAS Charter.

2. If the Permanent Council decides on the desirability of a legal framework then it will draft it with the goal of adopting such a legal framework at the next Summit of the Americas, to be celebrated in Santiago, Chile.

3. To appeal to the international community to support this effort.

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